It turns out that not all Saiyans can get Super Saiyan just by training hard.

We all remember that thrilling and fearful moment. We watched as Frieza, who we all thought was dead by Spirit Bomb, killed Goku’s best friend Krillin in cold blood, and like Goku, we were mad. We wanted revenge. We wanted victory. We wanted to destroy that evil monster. And when Goku became the first to go Super Saiyan in over one thousand years, we knew it was going to happen, and we loved it.

That historic moment in anime and manga history lives with us always. Through that scene, we fans learned that going Super Saiyan was triggered by passion, especially anger. After that, when Goku was training Gohan in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, we thought that training hard could get anyone to Super Saiyan level.

But Dragon Ball Z creator Akira Toriyama says we were wrong–sort of. He has decided to go back in time and ruin all of the fun of Dragon Ball Z by explaining, scientifically, what causes a Super Saiyan transformation, and it has many fans exasperated. It was all part of an informational piece titled “Can anyone become a Super Saiyan if they train hard enough?”, which was added at the end of November’s Saikyo Jump manga anthology, and is part of a longer segment explaining all kinds of mysteries about the Dragon Ball series.

So can anyone become a Super Saiyan if they train hard enough? The answer, apparently, is no.

According to Toriyama, a Super Saiyan transformation depends on whether a Saiyan has enough S-cells (sound familiar?). Once a Saiyan has exceeded a certain number of S-cells, they can use anger or other emotions as a trigger to dramatically increase their S-cells, which causes their body to transform into a Super Saiyan.

Supposedly every Saiyan is born with a certain number of S-cells, but it’s usually not enough, although Goku, Gohan and Trunks are said to have been born with a high level. That’s why Goku was able to be the first to use it, and Gohan and Trunks were able to transform easily as well.

Toriyama also says that a Saiyan can also increase his S-cells to that needed level. According to his explanation, the easiest way to increase your S-cells is to have a gentle disposition. If you hadn’t noticed (ahem, Vegeta), most Saiyans are not exactly the nicest people. That’s another reason why Goku (who is really a pretty nice guy) was the first in over one thousand years to attain it.

But kindness is not enough! You also need fighting strength to raise your S-cells. Which Goku had aplenty.

In summary, you are born with a certain level of S-cells, but to get to Super Saiyan you need a high level. If you’re a peaceful person, you have more and it’s easier for you to become Super Saiyan. And if you’re strong it’s even easier.

So theoretically….no, you can’t just train to become a Super Saiyan but yes…you can? You can…be a nicer person, and then…train hard?

We aren’t pulling your leg here…Toriyama’s explanation, straight out of the publication, is equally ambiguous. We think maybe it would’ve been fine to just let us believe that passion and training can lead to a Super Saiyan transformation, without all of the technical details, but, well, that’s not our decision to make.

Some Japanese fans were also unimpressed with this hodgepodge explanation:

“Originally the legend said that “A single Super Saiyan, a warrior of genuine destruction and massacre, appears only once every one thousand years.” S-cells? Personalities? The reason why Goku achieved Super Saiyan so easily was because he was the main character…”

“I don’t really get it but it seems to me that even if you have the minimum amount of S-cells, if you work hard you can do it, right?”

“I guess it’s pretty easy to get Super Saiyan after all.”

Other didn’t mind so much.

“So for a Saiyan to become a Super Saiyan, they need a special cell? That sounds like a reasonable explanation.”

That seems about right.”

“This kind of backstory explanation is interesting, even if it’s part of an appendix…”

Whatever fans might think, this is information straight from the creator, so it’s now part of the Dragon Ball Z lore. We shall just have to accept it as truth, however grudgingly, just as we accepted (or didn’t) the Jedi midi-chlorians. Besides, there are still lots of cool developments to the story coming up, so fans can pretend to forget that detail if they wish and just enjoy watching Goku beat stuff up.

Source: Kinsoku, Twitter/@White4517
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